Friday, December 30, 2005

A Salute to Our Dads

Admittedly, I do not know very much about columnist and talk radio host Larry Elder. But I find that we seem to have an awful lot in common. We are both good-looking, conservative black men. (Okay, so maybe only two out of three applies to me, but I'll take what I can get!) And we both have conservative, loving fathers who took a close interest in our upbringing and, as Larry says, "who taught my brothers and me to overcome racism through hard work and personal responsibility."

Mr. Elder's latest column is both a tribute to his father and a lesson in personal responsibility. He says of the elder Mr. Elder:
What about my dad? How did he manage? How do you compare what it's like now to what it was like then? He grew up in the Jim Crow South during the Depression, when black adult unemployment was 50 percent. He dropped out of school at age 13, after his mother threw him out of the house in favor of her then-boyfriend. Hard jobs followed, and he served in World War II. When he came out, he worked two full-time jobs as a janitor, cooked for a family on the weekends and went to night school to get his high school G.E.D. He saved his money and somehow managed to start a restaurant when he was in his 40s, which he ran until he was in his 80s. If racism didn't stop him then, how can racism stop you today? And he votes Republican!
While the details of the history are different, in many ways it almost sounds like Mr. Elder is describing Pops. And it sounds like the lessons these two loving fathers imparted to their kids is exactly the same: you, and only you, are responsible for your life and your future.

Thanks, Pops.

Hat-tip: David Benzion of Lone Star Times


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